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Are schools allowed to do this?

  1. Jul 14, 2007 #1
    Let's say I'm applying to a school, in my case for grad but let's also suppose for undergrad, they see my transcript/my grades and they see that I did badly in one class. Can they ask my professor about this?

    For example, lets say I'm applying to grad school and I got a C in my topology course, are they allowed to email my professor and ask why I got a C or anything of this nature? Can grad schools further contact my reccomenders and ask them more questions about myself?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2007 #2
    I really, really don't think a graduate school would do that. Especially for a single C on a good transcript.

    However, I don't see why they wouldn't be allowed to do it.
  4. Jul 14, 2007 #3


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    I agree with Maxwell. While I don't see anything stopping them from doing this. I doubt they would go through all that trouble to find out the origin of one C.
  5. Jul 14, 2007 #4


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    grad schools have simple basic criteria, and you either satisfy them or not, very black and white. they are just setting minimum standards for admission. it is the department that has a deep interest in your chance of success. they are very flexible in what they look for, and a few bad grades are not necessarily a deal breaker if there reason to think they do not predict poor work.
  6. Jul 15, 2007 #5
    I'm not a lawyer, but I'd guess that while schools are free to make inquiries, anyone who answers them without a release from you could get into trouble. So, unless you asked that prof for a recommendation (and gave them a release), I doubt if he or she would say anything.
  7. Jul 15, 2007 #6
    another quick question about grad schools:

    I will be applying to a couple of schools that are very far from me, and i'm wondering when should i visit those schools?

    So I wanted to apply to 6-7 schools, I'll wait and see see which ones I get into and then visit the schools that are far from me that I get into. Is that a good plan?

    Also how long do I have between the "letter of acceptance and when I have to reply back that I will be attending" phase?

    also when you request for scores to be sent to schools, do they send both your GRE and your GRE math or do i need to pay to get both of them sent seperately?
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  8. Jul 15, 2007 #7


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    Yeah, so if your friends talk about you with a release from you, sue them!
  9. Jul 15, 2007 #8
    I wouldn't worry about one poor grade on your transcript. It's possible that you could get one of your referees to comment on the mark in a manner that gives it a positive spin, eg "Johnny is willing to challenge himself and take academic risks. Although he got a C in quantum mechanics, his academic potential is probably better reflected by his math grades," blah blah blah.

    If you are admitted, schools will usually pay all or part of your expenses to visit. Try to organize your visits so that you check out schools in the same geographic area at the same time (easier on you and cheaper for them). Most US schools require you to Yea or Nay by May.
  10. Jul 15, 2007 #9
    Most schools in the US have scheduled "perspective student weekends" that they will alert you of after acceptance -- they'll invite you (and reimberse all or part of your travel expenses) if they really want to come.

    This information is usually included in the acceptance letter. If it is not... then contact the department's administrative assistant for their grad program.

    You should request that they send both if this is on the form and not a default... but it shouldn't cost extra.
  11. Jul 15, 2007 #10


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    tmfkan64's conjecture is naive.
  12. Jul 16, 2007 #11
    Initially, mathwonk, I agreed with your statement. However, isn't it true that professors are NOT allowed to disclose your grades? If I went to Professor mathwonk and asked how bill did last semester/quarter, wouldn't you be obliged not to tell me their grade?

    However, another professor who already knows what the students grade is may be a different circumstance, and since it pertains to graduate admission they may be more open about it? I don't know, i'm just about to start grad school myself. Thoughts?
  13. Jul 16, 2007 #12
    I missed the part where there are legal requirements of confidentiality from your friends.
  14. Jul 16, 2007 #13
    Oh, and I'd agree that people talk regardless of the legality/ethics of the situation. Besides, the chances of having enough actual evidence of the breach to go to court is extremely slim.
  15. Jul 17, 2007 #14


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    take my word for what i said.
  16. Jul 27, 2007 #15
    The exact date is April 15. That is the agreed upon date set up by a council of hundreds of American universities. I forget the exact name of it.
  17. Jul 27, 2007 #16
    I don't know about contacting your reccomendations, it may depend on whether or not you waived your right to see the letter of reccomendation. Although, I know that at my university the transcript just has the class, the grade, and when it was taken, the professor isnt listed. You should get a copy of your offical transcript and check it to see if its the same.
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